Archive for October 30th, 2011


Representatives from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) vowed to campaign for a “peaceful and diplomatic” solution to the Syrian conflict yesterday, following a meeting with the Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus.

Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Nicolas Maduro was joined by his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez, and other delegates from Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador during the diplomatic visit, which was convened in order to “reject any attempts at an invasion or political destabilisation” by NATO countries against the Syria.

“We are in no doubt that imperialism and Western powers want to take advantage of Syria’s internal problems, in order to conspire against, do damage to and destroy Syria,” said Maduro.

Likewise, Cuban minister Rodriguez expressed his support for the Syrian people’s “right to self-determination, free from any intervention or foreign interference”.

“Cuba, as part of ALBA, feels the need to defend international law and to urge the (UN) Security Council to comply with its mandate and to insist that the UN Assembly and the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement support the Syrian people,” continued the Cuban diplomat, who also expressed his concern for the lack of objective information being relayed to the global public through the private media.

Revolts against the Syrian government began earlier this year in March, when citizens took to the streets demanding reform from the national government. Although Western media reports contend that the Al-Assad administration has been repressing pro-democracy advocates, the Syrian government maintains that it has been defending itself against the violent attacks of an armed “fringe” group.

During the meeting, President Al-Assad explained to the delegates that the government was open to dialogue with the opposition forces and that it was undertaking political reform in order to address the conflict. ALBA delegates also met separately with Syrian Foreign Relations Minister, Walid Al-Moallem, who thanked the ALBA representatives for their visit.

“The particular timing of the delegation’s visit and their arrival from outside (of Syria) reflects the magnitude of their solidarity,” said the Syrian minister.

The ALBA representatives’ meeting with Al-Assad comes as the European Union applauded the efforts of the Syrian opposition, who formed the Syrian National Council (SNC) earlier last week in Istanbul. The EU described the move as a “positive step” but refrained from recognising the opposition front as the legitimate government of Syria.

“We are not at the stage of recognition…but I believe we have to get to know them better and get to know their intentions,” said French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, about the newly-formed SNC.

Since its formation in 2004, the ALBA has consistently maintained a non-interventionist stance with regards to foreign policy and was particularly critical of NATO’s recent intervention in Libya. Following the organisation’s 6th Political Council meeting last month in Caracas, ALBA issued an official statement warning of its concern that NATO countries planned to repeat the Libyan experience in Syria.

Maduro affirmed that ALBA countries “would not stand idly by” whilst Syrian internal affairs were threatened.

“We are going to support it in all of the international organisations, starting with the UN. The UN cannot be an instrument of war for imperialist countries or Zionism,” concluded the minister.

from http://www.Venezuelanalysis.com


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For Democracy and Discipline

From Occupy Melbourne:

On the morning of the 21st of October, about 400 peaceful police some mounted on peace ponies, others wielding peace spray, swooped down on City Square which had then been host to the camp of Occupy Melbourne since the 15th.

The Lord Mayor Robert Doyle had announced earlier in the week that “it was time to move on.”

This is an article on the eviction of the occupation. In it, I try to show how certain assumptions and ways of action, crystalised in the chants we raised on the day of eviction, defined and limited what the occupation was. Throughout the week, a clique of liberal-pacifist activists attempted to impose these ideas upon the entire assembly, and to take control of the general assembly. In the wake of the eviction, their coup over the assembly has come to pass, leaving us in circumstances that demand reflection, re-organisation, and preparation before future action can be carried out with confidence.

“This is a peaceful protest!”

Leading up to, and on the day of, the eviction, the constant refrain of “peaceful protest” only hampered attempts at a serious discussion of tactics. A discussion of tactics is not necessarily the endorsement of violence. It is an attempt to enable collective responses to the questions of how to respond to police violence, how to protect ourselves, and what is the best way to resist authority.

I have seen the ideology of nonviolence used to end discussions on civil disobedience (which is somehow always “violent,” even though the greatest figures of nonviolence were practicing civil disobedience), and to discourage a pro-active reaction to the police (building barricades, or defending them, being categorised as “violent”).

Moreover, it is unfair to credit the media victory on Friday to an ideology which I doubt is held by a strong majority of protestors; nonviolence is simply not accepted completely enough to explain a causal link. What we instead saw was a case of discipline: as a movement, we made a disciplined decision not to riot, in spite of vile attempts by the police to provoke us.

Discipline must feature in our discourse from this stage on as being neither obedience, for discipline is actually worked out by a thousand instantaneous acts of consensus in the field, and grows out of a shared culture; nor ideological reductionism, for discipline is not afraid to examine alternative strategies, trusting in its own maturity to choose the appropriate tools of struggle.

When I see a protestor talking another one out of attacking the police, I do not see the triumph of nonviolent ideology. I see the triumph of a disciplined resistance culture.


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Class composition and Struggle in Italian Autonomist Marxism

Storming Heaven by Steve Wright is the first comprehensive survey of Italian autonomist theory, from its origins in the anti-stalinist and workerist left of the 1950s to its heyday twenty years later.

Autonomist marxism was a political tendency which privileged themes–self-organization, construction of identity, grassroots politics, subjects in struggle–which in many ways can be seen as the precursor of today’s debates around direct action protest. Emphasizing the dynamic nature of class struggle as the distinguishing feature of autonomist thought, Wright explores how its understanding of class politics developed alongside emerging social movements.

Offering a critical and historical exploration of the tendency’s emergence in postwar Italy, Storming Heaven moves beyond the crisis of traditional analytical frameworks on the left, and assesses the strengths and limitations of autonomist marxism as first developed by Antonio Negri, Mario Tronti, Sergio Bologna and others.

“The emergence of a new wave of anti-capitalist activism on the streets of Seattle, Prague and Genoa has been accompanied by a growing interest in “autonomist Marxism.” Steve Wrights study brilliantly illuminates the history, complexity and internal debates of this tradition … A vital, lucid contribution to understanding how the red threads of Marxism are being rewoven into the fabric of twenty-first century radicalism.” (from Cyber-Marx)

available at libcom as a free PDF.

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 Bolivia: a new justice system

LA PAZ.— The other, plurinational Bolivia is consolidating its constitutional nature with a new justice administration in the wake of popular elections, marked by citizens’ participation and new attacks from the opposition.


Although the official results have yet to be announced, the opposition and its media announced a larger tally of spoiled or blank votes, the basis of its campaign to de-legitimize the process and future magistrates.


The vote is unprecedented in national history and in the world, affirmed Senator Eugenio Rojas of the government Movement Toward Socialism (MAS), which means that it can be improved upon, he added.


For Rojas, one important lesson is the need to listen to the population, as was the case since the elections were called in May of this year, and the stage prior to the selection of a total of 115 candidates, on the basis of their merit and professional development.


President Evo Morales himself explained that this unprecedented process is the beginning of a new justice system at the service of the people.


In a message to the nation from the Quemado Palace, Morales stated his conviction that, with the vote of the Bolivian people, the justice system, social transformations and constitutionality are all going to improve, as well as changes to raise the quality of life.


He added, in reference to those who attempted to boycott these elections by means of spoiled or blank ballots, that they had failed.


The president thanked observers from international agencies present at the voting, such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Andean Community of Nations and the Organization of American States.



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“The very mention of South Armagh can send a shiver down the spine of any one of the tens of thousands of soldiers who have served there since the ‘Troubles’ began. Branded ‘Bandit Country’ in 1975 by Merlin Rees, then Northern Ireland  secretary , no other part of the world has been as dangerous for someone wearing the uniform of the British army. Some 123 soldiers have been killed in the S/Armagh area since August 1971, around a fifth of all military casualties in NI , along with 42 RUC officers & 75 civilians . According to RUC statistics , the area within a 10 mile radius of the heart of S/Armagh has seen 1255 bomb attacks and 1158 shooting incidents since the ‘troubles’ began.”  – excerpt from Bandit Country,  Toby Harden

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Tens of Afghanistans?

Assad: challenge Syria at your peril


In his first interview with a Western journalist since Syria’s seven-month uprising began, President Assad told The Sunday Telegraph that intervention against his regime could cause “another Afghanistan”.

Western countries “are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely,” he said. “But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different.

“Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake … Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?

“Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region.”


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Farrakhan on Fire!

Minister Farrakhan Blasts Zionist Controlled Media During Commercial Break!

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